The depressed economic condition of the past decade coupled with increased competition from products available in retail outlets have taken their toll on the beauty salon business. From its traditional range of services like haircuts, perms, hair coloring, facials, manicure and pedicure, the beauty salon has had to innovate and develop new and exciting services to keep its clients, attract new ones, and increase margins.
One of the most popular of these new salon services is nail painting. A nail paint job can run as high as $25 or even more depending upon the number of colors used. Where the traditional nail coloring job involved coating the fingernail with a single solid shade, nail painting covers the nail with different designs in different colors. The primary instrument of the hairdresser in doing nail painting is the airbrush. The other materials needed for a nail paint job, aside from the nail polish in the different colors to be used are the: a) base coat, b) stencil with the design to be painted on the nail, c) clear nail polish to overlay on the painted nail and protect it, and d) nail polish remover to clean up overspray.
The process of nail painting is relatively simple and straightforward. The value lies in the artistry of the hairdresser and the ability to do the paint job properly. In nail painting, the steps are:
1. After cleaning the nails, apply a nail polish base coat and let it dry.
2. Apply two coats of background color to the nails and let dry.
3. Place the stencil with the design over the nail and airbrush the polish with the desired color onto the nail. Let the nail dry.
4. Apply two coats of clear nail polish over the airbrushed design to protect it and give it additional shine.
5. Use polish remover to clean up the excess spray around the nail.
There are different types of airbrushes and selecting the right one is crucial to be able to do a good nail painting job. The choices are between a Single-Action or Double-Action airbrush and between a Gravity Feed or Suction Feed type.
The Double-Action airbrush has the advantage of having the air and paint controlled by a single trigger. You do not have to stop painting to control the amount of paint as you would have to do with a Single-Action type. Because of this, nail painting professionals suggest that beginners start with a Double-Action airbrush.
Gravity Feed airbrushes use the force of gravity to pull the paint, loaded in a container at the top of the body, into the atomizer tip of the brush. This type of airbrush can operate at much lower pressures and allows the hairdresser to paint very fine lines. This airbrush is also ideal for acrylic-based paints which are used in nail polishes. The added advantage of the Gravity Feed airbrush is that, even while the reservoir is attached, you can clean the nozzle and drop paint of a different color onto it. This allows you a wider variety of colors to use in the design. For these reasons, nail painting experts recommend a Gravity Feed airbrush to achieve best results.